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Jack-O'-Lantern Carving Games

BY: Christopher Mahar | Dec 11, 2018

It's almost October, which means you should probably start nailing down all things Halloween on your to-do list. Choosing a costume about a month out will mean you are still reasonably au courant on what is internet famous, the candy deals are bountiful, and theaters are full of horror. But what about that Halloween tradition that can't be prepared ahead of time as it relies on material that swiftly rots when cut: the jack-o'-lantern? Surely this must wait at least until pumpkins become available outside your nearest supermarket, right? Oh my sweet summer child. Welcome to the internet, a magical land that contains a virtual analog to even the most mundane activity (see: walking simulators). Here you will find websites that allow you to spitball your spooky Halloween ideas by carving virtual pumpkins. Yay! Don't fight it, you live online now! What are your choices when carving with the mouse? Below is the result of my investigation. abcya carve a pumpkin For my first foray into virtual pumpkin carving, I chose abcya.com, a site that bills itself as "The Leader in Educational Games For Kids!" The pumpkin and scenery were comfortingly cartoonish, which allowed me to safely explore one of my most basic existential fears, culled from one of my favorite movies and books as a kid: Nothingness. In order to convey this chilling concept, I decided to remove as much of the pumpkin as the game would allow. This turned out to be just the front, leaving a cheerful candle blazing away. While my execution failed to convey the true horror of nothingness, it did give me the idea for a good Halloween costume: repurpose a standard werewolf costume to portray Gmork, an agent of The Nothing. carve a virtual pumpkin The straightforwardly named onlinepumpkincarving.com was my next stop. Here, you may choose what kind of pumpkin to start with–a touch I enjoyed. I went with a ghostly white pumpkin and set about depicting another great fear of mine: overpopulation. The result was mixed at best, but I was proud of the central figure I chose as the ruler of this hellishly crowded pumpkin: Mr. Meeseeks. In his introductory episode of the cartoon Rick and Morty, Mr. Meeseeks continually generates more and more versions of himself, until there is a murderous horde, bent on their own annihilation. Chilling. Bloompetals virtual jack-o-lantern The flash game at Bloompetals.com also allows you to pick your pumpkin. I chose a tall, knobbly guy who seemed to have a lot of character. The carving mechanics were a bit different here from the rest of the simulators. Rather than cutting in a freehand way by clicking and drawing, you click to make dots which are then automatically connected in a line. Click back to the original starting point and the outlined area comes away. For this simulator, I chose to make a skull. Remember, sometimes it can be as simple as that. Theoworlds virtual pumpkin carving game The last virtual jack-o'-lantern game I attempted was one created by Theoworlds, an "interactive web agency". You can't choose your pumpkin, but you can choose between freehand cuts and the more precise but limiting straight cuts. For my muse, I went conceptual again and chose something that always terrified me around this time of year: Christmas Creep. What is more bone-chilling than the specter of Christmas decorations haunting Halloween? Put this pumpkin on the porch and answer the door as Santa Claus to see true terror in the eyes of parents.